Twitter is experimenting with highlighting favorited tweets, with a number of users seeing favorited tweets from users they follow in their timeline as well as receiving notifications when others follow new users, The Next Web reported.
Unsurprisingly, not everyone is happy about this. The experiments were initially rolled out a couple of weeks ago, but Twitter seems to have ramped up the experiment over the past several days and with it has grown a backlash against the changes. In fact, as The Next Web pointed out, a quick search of the site finds practically universal disdain for the feature, with many equating Twitter's new practice with "spamming."
The favorited tweets feature has been core to Twitter's service from early on, acting as a "semi-private" (as many users describe it) way of saving links or thanking a fellow user for mentioning you. Twitter users can view favorited tweets in a users' profile, but broadcasting favorites to other users' timelines inherently changes the nature of favoriting and blurs the line between the favorite and the retweet.
This is hardly the first time Twitter has experimented with changes to core offerings.
In March, the company toyed with replacing the retweet feature with a share option. This was a very unpopular move and, like other changes making the service more like Facebook, prompted a swift backlash. The experiment arrives around the same time that Twitter is launching promoted video. As the company begins making changes to become more profitable, it risks losing its distinct identity from Facebook and, with it, loyal users.